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Chapter 5: Implementation


As this Guide demonstrates, developing a teacher policy is a complex endeavour, which depends on a number of political, social, cultural and economic factors – many of them external to education.

In the first place, implementation is often very country-specific. Teacher policy may not have the desired political ‘visibility’ during implementation that, for example, a new school or free enrolments for all learners may have.

As political figures often need to show immediate outcomes for their constituents, teacher policy development becomes politically complex and costly, as pointed out in other regional policy guides (OREALC, 2013: 9, 90). Factors affecting implementation include overall government policies, capacities and political orientation, as well as the state of the education system and teaching profession at the time of policy development and implementation. Political and social forces at work in the country – for example, the strength of teachers’ organisations or other stakeholders – add to the project’s complexity.

Bearing in mind all of these potential influences, the ultimate goal of developing a policy is to implement it as far as possible. Therefore, as Chapter 4 proposes, plans for implementation should already be well underway as part of the policy development process, with a timeline and roadmap sketched out by the policy developers that are appropriate to the country and educational context.

Some evidence put forward to guide education policy implementation in OECD countries may help guide future efforts in these and other countries (Box 5.1).

One of the first decisions, depending on the country’s political context, will be to determine whether the policy is best applied through a government programme or campaign, executive or administrative decisions/rules, legislation, or a combination thereof. Questions to bear in mind include:

  • What will have the most impact, given the country’s political, economic and education environment?
  • What are the human resource and financial costs associated with the chosen path?
  • What are the trade-offs in terms of these costs versus the anticipated impact?

As outlined in Chapter 4, reflection on an implementation plan will have begun during the policy development process. The next step in the process is to develop a clear and manageable implementation vehicle and plan for decision-makers.


Research on effective implementation of education reforms centred on school improvement efforts in high-income OECD countries points to several factors, including:

  • Putting students and learning at the centre of reforms: focusing on learning, instruction and the classroom environment to achieve better learning outcomes
  • Capacity-building of professional staff: developing teachers’ skills and competences and those of other staff responsible for reforms at any level by ensuring the necessary time, resources and learning opportunities for professional development
  • Leadership and coherence: ensuring good school- and system-level leadership to help guide policy implementation, coherence and alignment with other education system policies over the long-term
  • Stakeholder engagement: relying on the appropriate dialogue to involve teachers and teachers’ unions especially, but also employers and other stakeholders, from the beginning of the design process, to create well-received, legitimate policies
  • Policy evaluation: targeting the policy impact on learning results via rigorous, high-quality study standards, notably experimental and quasi-experimental.
Source: Yelland and Pont, 2014.

Activity: Implementing policy

The focus of this section is implementing policy and the structures that need to be in place to ensure the successful implementation.

As you read this section, make brief notes on:

  • The difference between legislative process and approval, and executive or administrative decisions.
  • The tools required for the successful implementation of policy.
  • The types of monitoring activities that could be used.
  • The characteristics of suitable indicators.
  • The sources of evidence to support evaluation activities – both quantitative and qualitative
  • The organisational requirements for the effective implementation of new policies.

Think about your own context and reflect on which aspects of the implementation process are strong and which could be strengthened.

5.1 Legislative process and approval

As Chapter 4 outlines (in the section on Phase 3 of the policy process), legislation to implement a teacher policy may or may not be required under a country’s political system, but implementing policy through national legislation adds another – potentially decisive – political dimension. In a democratic society, the national law is supreme in relation to the country’s constitution. Legislation is almost always accompanied by funding and administrative implementation measures that greatly enhance (but do not guarantee) the chances for a policy to be successfully implemented. As noted in Box 2.6, examples include the ‘No Child Left Behind’ legislation, adopted in 2001, and the ‘Race to the Top’ initiative in the United States, introduced as part of the economic stimulus legislation adopted in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. Given the federal nature of the United States, both programmes incorporated substantial financial incentives encouraging individual states and local school districts to follow the policy goals, based on strictly defined criteria and plans. Many states and local school districts developed plans to meet these policies’ criteria and secure the necessary federal grants, often focusing on teacher assessment and employment issues, as outlined in the ‘Race to the Top’ initiative. Recent reports reveal mixed implementation results, noting challenges such as too few resources, lack of communication and stakeholder involvement (see, among others, Baker, Oluwole, and Green, 2013; Boser, 2012; Weiss, 2013). Nevertheless, the political debates around the legislation and the efforts to comply with implementation incentives have given the policies much more visibility and influence than they would otherwise have had.

Planning and providing technical and legal support to a country’s legislative body to adopt a law(s) to implement a national teacher policy is not without costs, delays and potential setbacks. Box 4.5 describes the process and timeline for the adoption of India’s Right to Free Education Act, 2009. Including legal challenges, this policy was officially approved only in 2012, at the end of a ten-year process. The adoption of the legislation, and its reaffirmation in line with the country’s constitution, is a potentially powerful tool for education authorities and stakeholders to advance teacher policy in a country that engages nearly 15% of the world’s primary and secondary teachers, and needs an estimated 3 million more teachers by 2030 (UNESCO, 2014; UIS, 2014).

If legislation is the chosen policy implementation path, technical support from policy developers is essential at various stages: drafting legislation to include legal experts’ knowledge and input; responding to parliamentary enquiries (commissions/committees or direct responses to lawmakers or their aides); building relationships with political interest groups, including important stakeholders; lobbying legislators and the media; and refining the legislation or its implementation provisions post-adoption.

5.2 Executive or administrative decisions

Policy developers within the MoE or other teacher employer/management agency or department may be mandated or choose to employ executive or administrative paths to policy implementation. Derived from institutional authority given by legislation and accompanying regulations, such avenues are less onerous (including in terms of staff and financial resources). Achieving the desired impact may prove more difficult, because they do not always have the necessary political authority and accompanying financial backing. At the same time, they can be a more cost-effective means of policy implementation, and even an improvement on less authoritative instruments, such as issuing guidelines in decentralised systems. Kenya’s teacher recruitment policy is an example (Box 5.2).


Kenya’s TSC has a mandate to establish and maintain a sufficient and professional teaching service for public educational institutions in the country. Decentralization of TSC functions to district and school levels, to bring services closer to users,was followed in the late 1990s by a government embargo on public service recruitment, thereby stopping the automatic employment of trained teachers. The Commission then adopted a new policy of recruiting teachers on the basis of demand and vacancies through natural attrition and implemented annual guidelines, which were revised every year before the recruitment exercise.

In 2006, the Commission developed and published a comprehensive policy to enhance efficiency in teacher recruitment. The policy provides direction for future recruitment, defines the roles of the recruiting agents, and outlines the roles and responsibilities of other actors involved in the process. It lays out an institutional framework for implementation, including lead and implementing units, tools for implementation (among which guidelines to decentralized units, employment forms and teacher codes of conduct and ethics), monitoring and evaluation (including a matrix) and revision to address emerging issues. Its authority derives from both legislation (the TSC Act) and regulations (the TSC Code of Regulations for Teachers).

For more information: TSC, Kenya, 2006.

5.3 Tools and schedule of work

Policy implementation may utilize a number of tools or instruments, including a plan of action, a logical framework (log frame), guidelines or similar tools. The chosen instruments should include a timeline that takes into consideration the amount of time required to implement a policy, challenges to doing so, and capacities for operationalizing the policy.

5.3.1 Action plans

An action plan serves as a roadmap for authorities on implementing a policy’s objectives, strategies and programmes, based on planned resources, defined roles and responsibilities, and the desired timing. Some action plans are formulated more generally, as in the case of the United Kingdom’s plan for teacher education (Box 5.3).


In 2011, the UK DoE published an implementation plan for the ITT Strategy. The plan’s target audience includes major actors in teacher training, namely schools and universities, teachers and teacher trainers. It follows the major themes of the strategy, listing the principal activities expected to be carried out under each major theme: the quality of trainees (five activities); better investment – better teachers (12 activities); and reform of training (nine activities). The plan also includes a chart setting out the important dates and milestones for implementation of the strategy.

Source: Department for Education, United Kingdom, 2011

The consensus is that a carefully formulated action plan increases the likelihood of successful implementation. Elements to be considered when constructing an action plan include:

  • An activity statement tied to the policy and strategic/programme objective the activity is supporting
  • Implementation outputs, targets, benchmarks (milestones) and indicators
  • Timeline for implementation
  • Information sources, such as EMIS, TMIS or an equivalent information system
  • Activity costs, which may include defined unit costs and an indication of the percentage of costs in relation to the overall action plan budget
  • Funding sources: public and private national (including regional and local) sources, and, where likely, funding from external development partners
  • Implementation structures, roles and responsibilities for policy implementation.

Developing an action plan that has a reasonable chance of successfully implementing a teacher policy requires dialogue among various actors with different tasks and roles, as outlined in Chapter 4 and Box 5.1. Since it is a very political process, effective dialogue should take place at different decision-making levels and with the widest possible range of political actors, including:

  • Between the various departments/offices/agencies of the MoE or respective education authority
  • Between the MoE and other relevant government units: for example, the ministry of finance or budget; the public service or teacher service commission or equivalent entity responsible for recruiting and employing teachers; the ministry of labour, which is responsible for workplace regulation and labour relations; and any other government body whose mandate covers subjects related to a policy and plan (ministry of health for HIV and AIDS; education-level ministries such as ECE, primary/basic education or secondary education, where they exist separately from an education ministry)
  • Between the national or central government and regional or local levels: for example, regional (state/province) or local (district/municipal) education authorities or committees;
  • Between the government and other stakeholders: for example, teachers and teachers’ unions/organizations (which are especially important given their central place in the process); private education providers, especially where the private sector is a major source of education provision; employers and businesses who can support implementation as part of their desire to see greater coherence; autonomous teacher education institutions or providers; professional bodies, such as teachers’ councils; parent/teacher associations; community/village representatives; and non-governmental organizations. It is crucial to use the most appropriate forms of social dialogue with teachers and teachers’ organizations to plan implementation of a policy in whose development these principal stakeholders should have already been engaged (see Section 4.4.3)
  • Between the government or education authority and development partners: for example, multilateral agencies and bilateral donors.

Given its political nature, the dialogue over the plan’s implementation, like the process of developing the policy itself (Chapter 4), inevitably involves compromises in prioritizing the nature and performance of the required activities. Revisions, postponement or cancellation of lower-priority activities should be expected so that the maximum number of stakeholders/actors can commit to and own the success of the policy and plan. Rather than weaken the plan, a process based on compromise and trade-off will usually enhance the likelihood of successful implementation, if it brings together the maximum partners in the process.

Once decided, the action plan will need to be fully costed and (in as much as possible) funded from within existing resources according to the above parameters. Implementation funding may be distinct from policy development funding (Section 4.3), even if it is part of a unified budget that provides for both from the very beginning. Where necessary and possible, resources may be sought from national stakeholders and/or international partners on a general or project-specific basis (as is the case for general education funding). This highlights the importance of broad-based stakeholder support for the policy and plan to increase the resources dedicated to implementation: the need is often as much a need for human resources as for financial resources. If a funding gap exists, it may be necessary to rethink the plan’s objectives and ambitions or to include alternative means of overcoming constraints in the plan. Funding for implementation through the plan should always be considered over time – not just in the short-term or as associated with a first plan – and should be timed to coincide with government and education authority budgeting cycles (ADEA, 2009: 3; GPE, 2014: 350; IIEP and GPE, 2012: 15–16; ILO, 2014: 4, 33; Yelland and Pont, 2014: 31-32).

5.3.2 Log frames and work plans

If properly adapted, a logical framework (log frame), developed as a project design and management methodology and used by numerous bilateral and multilateral development agencies in high-income countries (World Bank, n.d.), may help those responsible for implementation to follow progress. A log frame matrix links objectives, goals, purposes and expected outputs through planned activities to ‘objectively verifiable’ or measurable indicators. The aim is to measure progress, while also specifying a means of verifying the indicators (information) and assumptions. An example at the international level is the log frame developed by UNESCO for the implementation of its Teacher Training Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa (UNESCO, 2007 – images/ 0015/ 001539/ 153940e.pdf ).

A work plan to put strategies or programmes into operation constitutes an alternative approach. Ghana’s work plan in support of its education sector plan (Box 2.1) contains several components, grouped under objectives dedicated to teachers or teaching: improving teaching and learning quality; improving management of education service delivery; and teacher supply and deployment. The work plan’s matrix links these objectives to targets (outcomes and outputs); it provides an outline of the strategy, activities, time frames and responsible units/agencies (Government of Ghana, 2012).

Developing either a log frame or a work plan as part of policy implementation can provide clarity of purpose and direction, and help develop collaboration across units, departments and agencies. The limits of either tool should nevertheless be acknowledged: a tendency towards rigidity as defined by the matrix, and hence a lack of flexibility in adapting implementation to changing circumstances and constraints – political, economic/financial and above all human – as well as a difficulty in obtaining meaningful stakeholder inputs to the matrix, whether at the stage of conception, implementation or monitoring/evaluation. Log frames and work plans remain tools for internal use, helpful for those involved in policy/plan design and implementation, provided they have the knowledge and training to use the tools effectively.

5.3.3 Guidelines and other instruments

Implementation may often benefit from detailed, practical guidelines for implementing a policy. Guidelines – which may also include or be accompanied by checklists – can be especially beneficial for those actors and stakeholders that were not directly involved in policy development, for instance: decentralized administration; institutions such as teacher education providers; and specialized professional bodies, such as qualifications authorities, standards boards or labour relations forums. Kenya’s policy on teacher recruitment (Box 5.2) contains implementation guidelines and other useful tools.

5.4 Monitoring and evaluation

A monitoring and evaluation plan, featuring the appropriate instruments, should form an integral part of any implementation plan to ensure that the planned activities are carried out and the targets achieved. Resources permitting, one department or unit (for example a dedicated monitoring and evaluation unit, the unit responsible for the EMIS or TMIS, or a cross- departmental team) should be entrusted with periodic monitoring to ensure faithful execution of the plan. Where the education authorities’ human or financial resources are limited (for example, in resource-poor countries, small states or decentralized authorities), at least one member of the plan’s design unit should have such responsibilities.

Monitoring activities may be broken down into:

  • Periodic monitoring through desk or field reviews, analysis of implementation records and activity logs, ongoing data gathering and structured meetings within and between implementing departments/agencies. This type of monitoring is necessary to assess progress towards the targets and benchmarks (milestones) listed in the implementation plan, identify constraints and generate solutions to problems as they emerge. Annual work plans and periodic reports may be used to help structure these exercises (Kusek and Rist, 2004: 97–98). Trinidad and Tobago’s strategic plan for education bases its monitoring on monthly reports by each officer and all divisions/units involved in the plan (MoE/Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, 2012: 30–31). Analysis of timely information generated through EMIS/TMIS or statistical units may also be used. Papua New Guinea’s strategic plan for gender equity in education relies on monitoring based on gender-disaggregated data for students, teachers, head teachers and education officers, generated annually (DoE, Papua New Guinea, 2009: 13–25). Periodic monitoring should include decentralized bodies responsible for plan activities.
  • Periodic monitoring reports generated by monitoring and evaluation specialists, based on regular reviews by the monitoring team or unit and using agreed upon guidelines and tools (for example, a questionnaire assessing achievement results or a checklist aligned with the implementation activities), are important. The reports should reach key decision-makers at the appropriate levels, to inform them in real time about constraints and recommended corrective action so as to make the necessary adjustments to the implementation plan.
  • An annual review with stakeholders should be planned and held by those responsible for monitoring, to review implementation of the plan with key stakeholders – representatives of teachers, students, parents, non-governmental organisations or civil society. In addition to using the results of periodic monitoring and reports, the monitoring team conducting the annual review should have an open consultative process allowing stakeholders to share concerns as well as successes in the plan’s implementation and, critically, to indicate where activities need to be changed. This feedback is crucial to assessing implementation of the policy. The report back from the review should be honest, identifying difficulties and even failures, and not driven by the desire to please higher-level policy- and decision-makers.
  • A consolidated annual performance report incorporating the relevant elements from the other monitoring exercises. This report will serve as the basic document for high-level review of achievements, shortcomings and possible improvements. The review should, in turn, serve as a pillar for a revised action plan. To be meaningful, it will need to be aligned with the action plan targets, in terms of the key human and financial resource dimensions.

Monitoring can reveal changes in terms of specific indicators, as measurements of progress or lack thereof, but it cannot necessarily indicate what is responsible for the changes – hence the need for evaluation, which can reveal what happened, why it happened and what difference it makes (Russon, 2010: 108). A mid-term or end-of-term evaluation (or both), preferably carried out by independent personnel to guarantee objectivity, is important in assessing policy implementation and to provide guidance for future implementation. A final review can evaluate impact and outcomes, relevance, cost- effectiveness and sustainability, as well as outline reasons for plan achievement or failure, in particular drawing lessons to guide policy revision and future plans (see the example of Namibia in Box 5.4).


In the early part of the century, major Ministry of Education policies in Namibia required teachers to use learner-centred teaching strategies and to monitor learner performance through a methodology of continuous assessment. To support reform efforts, teacher professional development was initially based on centralized policy formulation, provision of written materials on policies and their implementation, and cascade training, moving from the central Ministry to education regions to smaller groups of schools and, finally, to teachers in schools.

An evolving Ministry of Education strategy, based on decentralized, bottom-up teacher development, in which teachers were expected to act as the conduits for new policy and reform implementation rather than being the subject of guidelines and training programmes, led the MoE to develop a school self-assessment system. Aspects of teacher classroom instruction became one of the system components to support more effective implementation of instructional strategy reforms and track school performance. An observation protocol with specific indicators was used as the basis for teachers, parents, community members and the principal to discuss responses and collaboratively develop a school summary, later used in developing school plans for improvement activities. The results pointed to a need for greater collaboration between teachers and additionally to the need for increased support and a feedback mechanism to give teachers more of a voice in their own professional development and, by extension, better policy implementation.

For more information: LeCzel and Gillies, 2006

Effective monitoring and evaluation requires clear and measurable indicators linked to the set targets. Key indicators should be:

  • Limited in number and focused on the major priorities
  • Presented in a results-based or outcome-oriented framework, to meaningfully measure results
  • Formulated to enable an analysis of disparities or disequilibria (by gender, urban/rural, disadvantaged populations, etc.) in policy implementation
  • Consistent and stable throughout the implementation cycle and, most importantly, easily understandable by all users, from top-level decision-makers to the most directly affected users, i.e. teachers and learners.

In this regard, indicators need to be agreed with and accepted by stakeholders and – if relevant to the policy’s implementation – by development partners (IIEP and GPE, 2012: 15–18; ILO, 2012: 64, 102, 133–134). Through the appropriate social dialogue mechanisms (see Chapter 4), teachers at the school level and teachers’ organizations at other levels can provide valuable input into priority indicators for learning outcomes that are measurable, meaningful and equitable in relation to classroom realities and respect the requirement for consistency over time.

While the designers of an implementation plan will invariably have quantitative indicators to guide implementation, greater reliance on qualitative information from stakeholders or independent researchers can be a valuable supplement for gauging success or failure, thereby influencing policy and strategic planning for greater impact. The approach is crucial in assessing the attitudes and behaviours of perhaps the most important actors in policy implementation – teachers – who, for many reasons related to their personal and professional backgrounds, experiences, and perceptions of their status, often become reluctant implementers of a policy into which they had little or no input during the development process (Smit, 2005; Hargreaves, 1994; Hargreaves, 1998).

In addition to the perceptions and feedback of teachers and school leaders on the plan’s implementation and overall policy objectives, monitoring and evaluation may be an opportunity to use an institutional mechanism – social dialogue – to ensure greater teacher voice in the process at the school level, if that voice is not already present at other policy stages (see Chapters 2–4) (ILO, 2012: 216-217).

Increasingly, a more bottom-up (as opposed to top-down) approach to monitoring and evaluating policy design and implementation is favoured:

  • Research from China has shown a divide between teachers and authorities’ appraisal of the success of the urban-to-rural teacher mobility policy. Weaknesses were identified in the incentive system, evaluation mechanisms and the system of local government support, all of which required additional work for the policy to be successful. One of the recommendations for changes resulting from the policy analysis was to provide greater opportunity for teachers to be consulted, provide feedback and participate in policy-making (Liu, Li and Du, 2014: 78–80).
  • Similarly, an assessment of Pakistan’s national education plans from 1992 to 2010 in the large province of Punjab identified a number of reasons for failures and weak implementation linked to administration. One of the recommendations for strengthening the implementation of the education plans was to make the implementation mechanism more active, responsible and accountable, using a bottom-up approach structured around greater involvement of PTAs, teachers and other stakeholders (Siddiq, Salfi and Hussain, 2011: 294).
  • Finally, an analysis of teachers’ experiences with the implementation of the inclusive education policy in two districts in Ghana found that teachers had limited and often distorted understandings of the policy and the innovations required in their practice. To be successful, the policy initiation process needed to become clearer and more inclusive, to enable stakeholders to understand the purpose of and accept the policy agenda (Alhassan, 2014: 127).

5.5 Organizational arrangements for implementation

Whether in a centralized, federal or highly decentralized education system, identifying who is responsible for which parts of policy implementation at what level (see also Chapter 4) provides clarity on responsibilities, tasks and lines of communication (IIEP and GPE, 2012: 13; UNESCO, 2012a: 42–45). Defining responsibilities ranging from the highest national executive level to the school level is especially important for those most directly engaged with teachers – for example principals/school heads, inspectors, teacher educators, standard setters (professional qualification bodies) and employing authorities (teacher or public service commissions, private school managers/ employers). The multi-layered world of ECE planning and governance, often split between many government ministries or agencies, provides a good example of the importance of inter-agency/ministerial coordination for success in education policy (ILO, 2014: 33).

This is why the process requires an assessment of key success factors and roadblocks, as well as accompanying decisions on who does what, when, where and how. Such decisions should define leadership and implementation responsibilities, in addition to outlining the human and financial capacity to implement. Defining the process for implementation must address political and other hurdles that stand in the way of success. If these factors are not included in the action plan, they should be set out in an accompanying assessment, backed up by organizational directives as needed.

5.5.1 Responsibilities: leadership and management

Designating the individuals responsible for leadership and overall implementation of the policy, as well as for specific programmes or activities, and defining how they will be held accountable, are key issues to be addressed in teacher policy, as in overall education sector policy. For instance:

  • Leadership should be as close to the top of the political decision-making chain as possible: a minister or principal executive (e.g. director-general or superintendent or permanent secretary) to ensure that a policy succeeds
  • Roles and responsibilities may be close to or replicate the usual roles and responsibilities of government or education authority units, or be devolved to a dedicated team, provided decisions on responsibilities do not lead to ambiguity or confusion. A clearly designed organizational chart helps show structure and lines of authority/decisions. New structures may include a joint steering committee or task force responsible for overall policy implementation, while a monitoring team or existing units coordinate daily implementation. The United Republic of Tanzania provides an example of the contrasts between clearly established management responsibilities. The Teacher Education Master Plan, published in 2001, contains extensive objectives and costing of the plan, but is silent about organizational arrangements for its implementation. In contrast, the Primary Education Development Plan, put forward by the Government in the same year, details implementation responsibilities, including an organizational chart ranging from the central government level, through to the region, district and village, and down to the school level (BEDC, URT, 2001; MOE, URT, 2001).

5.5.2 Implementation capacity

Adequate capacity to implement a policy effectively is crucial in ensuring success. Among the factors that can be directly influenced by policy- and decision-makers, a capacity analysis of key actors for implementation should at least consider:

  • Public-sector management and institutions: the quality of public administration and civil service management at all levels involved in implementing a teacher policy;transparency, accountability and capacity to establish a dialogue with stakeholders; the quality of budgetary and financial management; and the level and efficiency of revenue mobilization
  • Educational administration and teacher management and support: the effectiveness of individual roles and responsibilities at various levels; structures; lines of authority; communication and coordination; and monitoring and evaluation
  • The competencies of individual officials or agents: the qualifications, competences, skills, training and incentives of officials involved in implementing the policy
  • Private-sector education providers and non-state actors: the responsibilities, and human and financial capacity to supplement public sector responsibilities.

Successful implementation crucially requires developing and enhancing capacity to take into account these factors. Where gaps are identified, training in planning, management, communication and other skills should be considered in advance of or parallel to implementation. Any external technical support (e.g. individuals, institutions/agencies or governments) should be targeted to further develop national capacity, whether at the central, regional or local level (IIEP and GPE, 2012: 8, 13, 24). Trinidad and Tobago’s strategic education plan’s goal of transforming the Ministry of Education into a high-performing organization outlines the strategy/priority on institutional capability and capacity, with a focus on seventeen activities related to leadership, governance and integrated management; monitoring and evaluation systems; planning; policy development and management; operations and processes; and information systems management (MOE/Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, 2012: 16–18).

5.5.3 Governance: implementation bodies/structures

The country and administrative contexts, as well as decisions about leadership, responsibilities and capacity, will largely determine the most appropriate implementation structures or bodies. The strategy may rely on existing structures of public or education administration, including dedicated public or teacher employment bodies (PSCs or TSCs); devolve responsibility to an independent or autonomous entity, such as a teacher professional or qualifications council; or create a new implementation structure – perhaps outside government authority – such as a national professional foundation or other body. Whatever the path chosen, it should respond to some key questions:

  • What is likely to be the most equitable, efficient and democratically accountable structure?
  • Does the implementation structure have the authority to take key decisions, including on key policy dimensions (Chapter 3), especially teacher education, professional development, employment and funding mobilization or transfer?
  • Does the chosen body or structure have the management and financial capacity to oversee implementation, given the risks and constraints identified in the action plan?
  • Is the structure able to effectively communicate with and mobilize all important political actors and stakeholders to understand, commit to and act on policy objectives and plans?

5.6 Costing implementation

All aspects of implementation (at least the major ones highlighted above) need to be budgeted, including:

  • Implementation vehicle and process – executive/administrative or legislative
  • Plan of action and related instruments
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Organizational arrangements – leadership, management, capacity development, and structures.

As with policy development (Chapter 4) and the development of the action plan set out earlier in this chapter, funding may come from national or sub-national sources (public budget or a mix of public and private sources), as well as development partners. Implementing a teacher policy may be a lesser priority for development partners, but not excluded. External support where necessary can be sought from many of the partners cited in Chapter 2 (Section 2.3), for example through the country support function of the International Teacher Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, or the development and implementation grant-funding mechanisms of the GPE. The conditions for such funding, whether channelled through general or education sector budget support or through earmarked funding for selected activities, need to be clear, and country ownership maintained. A feasible policy action plan, or one perceived as such, can itself help mobilize resources to implement policies.

If funding gaps exist, strategies and plans may have to be revised – for example, by devising more cost-effective implementation means, including greater synergies in structures/management or activities, or delegating responsibility for activities from central to decentralized bodies or to other stakeholders. The overall objectives and major priorities should always be kept in mind during the revision process (IIEP and GPE, 2012: 14).

As discussed in this Guide, policy development and implementation is a complex process and subject to political contestation. Effective teacher policy implementation requires awareness of the context-specific political and cultural dynamics in which policies are created and take root. This requires an implementation approach that focuses explicitly on the contextual constraints and the expectations of local agents and constituencies beyond the state, and factors in existing power relations to ensure that a teacher policy will result in the desired changes.

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Policies and plans
Basic Education Development Committee, Government of the United Republic of Tanzania (BEDC, URT ). 2001. Primary Education Development Plan (2002–2006). Dar es Salaam, Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. upload/ Tanzania%20UR/ Tanzania%20UR%20Primary%20Education%20Development%20Plan.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Department of Education, Papua New Guinea. 2009. Gender Equity Strategic Plan 2009–2014. Port Moresby, Department of Education, Government of Papua New Guinea. upload/ Papua%20New%20Guinea/ Papua_New_Guinea_gender_equity_strategic_plan.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Government of Ghana. 2012. Education Strategic Plan 2010–2020 – Vol. 1: Policies, Strategies, Delivery, Finance and Vol. 2: Strategies and Work Programme. Accra, Ministry of Education, Government of Ghana. upload/ Ghana/ Ghana_ESP_2010_2020_Vol1.pdf and upload/ Ghana/ Ghana_ESP_2010_2020_Vol2.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Ministry of Education, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. 2012. Education Sector Strategic Plan: 2011–2015. Ministry of Education, Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. upload/ Trinidad%20and%20Tobago/ Trinidad%20and%20Tobago_Strategic_plan_2011-2015.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Ministry of Education, United Republic of Tanzania. 2001. Teacher Education Master Plan (TEMP). Dar es Salaam, Ministry of Education, United Republic of Tanzania. upload/ Tanzania%20UR/ Tanzania_Teacher_Master_Plan-2001_2005.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Teachers Service Commission. 2006. Policy on Teacher Recruitment and Selection. Nairobi, Teachers Service Commission. documents/ hdn/ ed/ saber/ supporting_doc/ AFR/ Kenya/ TCH/ 20130515_041150.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Policy guidelines and manuals
Association for the Development of Education in Africa. 2009. ‘Communiqué – ”Bamako+5” Conference on Contractual Teachers’, Tunis, Association for the Development of Education in Africa. adeaPortal/ adea/ downloadcenter/ bamako/ Bamako%20COMMUNIQUEFinal-eng.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Department for Education, United Kingdom. 2011. Training our next generation of outstanding teachers Implementation plan. London, Department for Education. government/ uploads/ system/ uploads/ attachment_data/ file/ 181154/ DFE- 00083-2011.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.).
Global Partnership for Education. 2014. Education Sector Analysis Methodological Guides, Vol. 1. Washington, DC, Global Partnership for Education(
International Institute for Educational Planning and Global Partnership for Education. 2012. Guidelines for Education Sector Plan Preparation and Appraisal. Paris, UNESCO. fileadmin/ user_upload/ Cap_Dev_Technical_Assistance/ pdf/ 121106-Guidelines-for-Education-Sector-Plan-Preparation-and-Appraisal-EN.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
ILO. 2012. Handbook of Good Human Resource Practices in the Teaching Profession. Geneva, International Labour Organization. sector/ Resources/ publications/ WCMS_187793/ lang--en/ index.htm (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
ILO. 2014. ILO Policy Guidelines on the Promotion of Decent Work for Early Childhood Education Personnel. Geneva, International Labour Organization. sector/ Resources/ codes-of-practice-and-guidelines/ WCMS_236528/ lang--en/ index.htm (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Kusek, J. and Rist, R. 2004. Ten Steps to a Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation System. Washington, DC, World Bank. bitstream/ handle/ 10986/ 14926/ 296720PAPER0100steps.pdf?sequence=1 (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
OREALC. 2013. Background and Criteria for Teacher Policy Development in Latin America and the Caribbean. Santiago, UNESCO Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean. wp-content/ blogs.dir/ 1/ files_mf/ politicasdocentesingles27082013.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
World Bank. n.d. The Log Frame Handbook: A Logical Framework Approach to Project Cycle Management. Washington, DC, World Bank. http:// external/ default/ WDSContentServer/ WDSP/ IB/ 2005/ 06/ 07/ 000160016_20050607122225/ Rendered/ PDF/ 31240b0LFhandbook.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Research, reports, studies
Alhassan, A. M. 2014.Teachers’Implementation of Inclusive Education in Ghanaian Primary Schools: An Insight into Government Policy and Practices. Advances in Social Sciences Research Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 115–129.
Baker, B.D., Oluwole, J., and Green, P.C. III. 2013. The Legal Consequences of Mandating High Stakes Decisions Based on Low Quality Information: Teacher Evaluation in the Race to the Top Era. Education Policy Analysis Archives, Vol. 21, No. 5. ojs/ index.php/ epaa/ article/ view/ 1298/ 1043 (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Boser, U. 2012. Race to the Top: What Have We Learned from the States So Far? A State-by-State Evaluation of Race to the Top Performance, Washington DC, Center for American Progress. issues/ education/ report/ 2012/ 03/ 26/ 11220/ race-to-the-top-what-have-we-learned-from-the- states-so-far/(Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Hargreaves, A. 1994. Changing teachers, changing times. Toronto, OISE Press.
Hargreaves, A. 1998. The Emotions of Teaching and Educational Change. In Hargreaves A. (ed.), International Handbook of Educational Change. Dordrecht, Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 558-570.
LeCzel, D. K. and Gillies, J. 2006. From Policy to Practice: The Teacher’s Role in Policy Implementation in Namibia. Equipe 2 and USAID Working Paper. Washington, DC, Education Policy and Data Center. education-data-research/ policy-practice- teachers-role-policy-implementation-namibia (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Liu, X. Z., Li, L. and Du, C. 2014. Evaluation on the Efficiency of Policy Implementation for Teacher Mobility of Compulsory Education between Rural and Urban Areas in China. Chinese Studies, Vol. 3, pp. 74–81. journal/ PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=46235#.VFrLIWchO3E (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
OECD (2015), Education Policy Outlook 2015: Making Reforms Happen, OECD Publishing, Paris.
Russon, C. 2010. The Role of Policy Analysis in Overcoming the Implementation Challenge. M. Segone (ed.), From Policies to Results: Developing Capacities for Country Monitoring and Evaluation Systems. New York, UNICEF. wp-content/ uploads/ toco_library/ pdf/ 2010_-_Segone_-_From_Policy_To_ Results-UNICEF.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Siddiq, M. I., Salfi, N. A., and Hussain, A. 2011. Analysis of Implementation Mechanism of National Education Policies at Provincial Level Regarding Elementary Education in Pakistan. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 1, No. 16, November 2011.
Smit, B. (2005). Teachers, local knowledge, and policy implementation: A qualitative policy-practice inquiry. Education and Urban Society, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 292–306.
UNESCO. 2007. UNESCO’s Teacher Training Initiative for sub-Saharan Africa ( TTISSA) 2006–2015: LOGFRAME. Paris, UNESCO. images/ 0015/ 001539/ 153940e.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
UNESCO. 2012a. General Education Quality Analysis/Diagnostic Framework. Paris, UNESCO. new/ en/ education/ themes/ strengthening-education-systems/ quality-framework/ (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
UNESCO. 2014. Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All – EFA Global Monitoring Report, 2013/14. Paris, UNESCO. new/ en/ education/ themes/ leading-the-international-agenda/ efareport/ reports (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
UIS. 2014. Data Centre: Teachers by Teaching Level of Education and UNESCO eAtlas of Teachers. Montreal, UNESCO Institute for Statistics. datacentre/ pages/ default.aspx and uis/ teachers/(Accessed 21 March 2015.) 
Weiss, E. 2013. Mismatches in Race to the Top Limit Educational Improvement: Lack of Time, Resources, and Tools to Address Opportunity Gaps Puts Lofty State Goals Out of Reach. Washington, DC, Bolder, Broader Approach to Education. files/ 2013/ bba-2013-race-to-the-top.pdf (Accessed 21 March 2015.)
Yelland, R. and Pont, B. 2014. OECD Education Policy Outlook 2014: Part 3. A Special Focus on Reforms. Paris, OECD. (EDU/EDPC(2014)6/PART3, draft for discussion, 10–11 April 2014.)